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1984 USA Police Can Arrest Kamal Nath

Discussion in 'History of Sikhism' started by spnadmin, Jan 24, 2011.

  1. spnadmin

    spnadmin United States
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    By Rakesh Bhatnagar |


    In the season of embarrassments for the UPA government, here’s the latest. A court in New York has issued summons to Union urban development minister Kamal Nath for his alleged role in the anti-Sikh riots of 1984. While it’s not clear whether he is legally bound to honour the summons, Washington has declined to provide him diplomatic immunity.

    It means, once he arrives in the USA, the police can take him into custody, said a top government lawyer, adding he has the option of challenging the court’s powers.

    The summons followed a civil lawsuit filed by Sikhs for Justice (SFJ), a US-based non-profit human rights advocacy group, and victims Jasbir Singh and Mohinder Singh in April last year.The plaintiffs claimed that Kamal Nath was present when Sikhs were being attacked outside a gurudwara.

    “Due to his influence and political powers, he escaped the courts in India,’’ said lawyer for Sikh victims in India HS Phoolka. The plaintiffs have asked the US court to grant compensatory and punitive damages for his role in the genocide.

    This is the first case in which the Alien Tort Claims Act (ATCA) and the Torture Victim Protection Act (TVPA) have been invoked against India. The enactments empower a US district court to try a leader and hold him liable for the human rights violations of his subordinates under the principle of “command responsibility”.

    “It’s wonderful news,’’ said noted rights lawyer Colin Gonsalves. “The victims have the legitimate right to invoke the enactments and get their decades-old grievance redressed by a foreign court.’’

    Former additional solicitor general Altaf Ahmed said, “He will be arrested there. The US court doesn’t have the power to interfere in India’s jurisdiction. The Indian courts can strike down the process initiated abroad.’’ He added, “The minister will have to get the summons quashed in the US.’’

    http://www.dnaindia.com/india/report_usa-police-can-arrest-kamal-nath_1498355
     

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  3. Gyani Jarnail Singh

    Gyani Jarnail Singh Malaysia
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    USA is a friend of GOI...friends dont arrest friends of friends..its "Facebook Diplomacy" !!
     
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  4. spnadmin

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    Here is one time when I don't agree with you Gyani ji. He has been found in default of a court appearance and was indicted in absentia, with a summary judgment against him dated April 6, 2010.

    This victory was "big" and was taken to court by a coalition of Indian, US attorneys with specializations in civil rights. The purpose in going civil not criminal was because a financial award could be won more immediately. They are seeking redress under th Alien Torts Claims Act, for compensatory and punitive damages for crimes against humanity, degrading treatment and wrongful killing. The legal strategy is a stroke of genius imho.

    The other way around would require a criminal conviction followed by a civil suit for damages for 1984 victims.

    http://www.sikhphilosophy.net/1984-anti-sikh-pogrom/32191-us-court-orders-trial-against-indian.html

    http://www.sikhphilosophy.net/1984-anti-sikh-pogrom/34249-ny-court-summons-kamal-nath-sikh.html

    http://www.sikhphilosophy.net/1984-anti-sikh-pogrom/31752-84-sikh-riots-case-us-court.html

    The judiciary is independent of the executive branch. So he is cooked.

    Of course he won't show up on our soil. But this was a civil case and lays the groundwork to freeze his assets. Ordinary people will be on the jury unless he does not show up. Then it is up to the judge.

    One more thing to add: This happened in a New York State district court. Could not go worse for Nath. Nothing Washington can do to stop it.
     
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  5. spnadmin

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    Attached is the court summons.
     

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  6. Gyani Jarnail Singh

    Gyani Jarnail Singh Malaysia
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    SpnAdmin Ji..I was looking at this from the viewpoint of Govt-to-Govt relations. I think maybe the USA Justice System is not that sold out as in Third World countries..there may be hope then. Govts and Foreign Policy decisions are made based on Multi-Billion Dollar Missile sales or startegic reasons....things may be different..i sure hope so...
     
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  7. spnadmin

    spnadmin United States
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    Gyani ji

    Not a prob. This is why the case is different from what one might expect. Phoolka and his US legal counterparts found 2 Sikhs who are now plaintiffs in the case. Two ordinary people with legal "standing" i.e., they suffered because of the pograms. Then the legal team skipped the idea of criminal prosecution altogether -- that is how the entire matter of diplomatic immunity was by-passed. The US federal government has no standing in a civil case. The legal team by invoking the Alien Tort Act are asking for civil damages on behalf of the 2 Sikhs mentioned above in the US courts. This is a clever twist

    The Alien Tort Statute (28 U.S.C. § 1350; ATS, also called the Alien Tort Claims Act (ATCA)) is a section of the United States Code that reads: "The district courts shall have original jurisdiction of any civil action by an alien for a tort only, committed in violation of the law of nations or a treaty of the United States." This statute is notable for allowing United States courts to hear human rights cases brought by foreign citizens for conduct committed outside the United States.
    Most often it is used to sue corporations that injure citizens of other countries - e.g., causing environmental disasters.

    The other thing to note. The federal executive branch, the party in power, appoints judges to the federal judiciary branch of government. But after that the judges are completely independent of their benefactors in the presidency, and they serve lifetime terms. More than once these judges have gone renegade on the political party that put them on the court. Tampering with a federal judge can have really bad results. :) Kamal Nath is under a warrant now - not because of the pogram - but because he failed to respond to the judge's summons. That is why I say he loses either way.
     
  8. spnadmin

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    Here is something interesting on your point Gyani ji - Very curious.

    This morning: most Indian papers, not all, are reporting that the US has made no determination about diplomatic immunity for Kamal Nath. Stateside, the message is that the US State Department has no jurisdiction and will not grant diplomatic immunity.

    Interesting video on the court case. The video report states that the US will not grant diplomatic immunity, and that there are no cases against Kamal Nath in India.

    YouTube - Sikh NGO files case against Kamal Nath
     
  9. spnadmin

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    NO DIPLOMATIC IMMUNITY FOR KAMAL NATH IN 1984 SIKH GENOCIDE CASE
    by Sikhs Justice on Monday, January 24, 2011 at 11:36am

    Due to the seriousness of allegations of human rights violation against Indian Minister Kamal Nath, US Department of State has declined to intervene and the trial before the US District Court will proceed from February 09, 2011.

    After being summoned by US Court in 2010, Minister Kamal Nath had sought diplomatic immunity so he could avoid trial in the case filed against him for his participation in Sikh Genocide and human rights violations. His request for immunity has now been turned down by US Department of State.

    Responding to Kamal Nath’s comment that “no case has been filed against him in India during past 26 years”, attorney Gurpatwant Singh Pannun, legal advisor to SFJ stated that Minister Nath’s argument is absurd because if a case is not filed against a criminal, it does not mean that he has not committed the crimes and it only shows how Congress (I) and Indian governments have been protecting and shielding the perpetrators and organizers of November 1984 Sikh Genocide. It also reflects on the claims of potency by Indian higher judiciary which has not moved an inch against the members of Congress (I), added attorney Pannun.

    SFJ and victims of November 1984 announced to lodge a campaign in India asking Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to sack Kamal Nath from cabinet position due to his involvement in attack on Gurdawara Rakab Ganj Sahib and killings of Sikhs in November 1984.

    In April 2010, Sikhs for Justice (SFJ) a US based human rights advocacy group, along with two individuals filed a law suit against Minister Kamal Nath in US District Court under Alien Tort Claims Act(ATCA) & Torture Victim Protection Act (TVPA) asking the Court to order compensatory and punitive damages against Kamal Nath.

    According to attorney Pannun “Alient Tort Claims Act of United State, the law under which trial against Kamal Nath will be held is specifically created to provide remedy and forum to victims of genocide to vindicate their complaints and the trial against Kamal Nath is one such opportunity through which SFJ plans to put on the record of the court evidence related to Genocide of Sikhs and Kamal Nath’s role who had led armed mobs that burnt Sikhs alive in November 1984”.

    Plaintiffs have asked for a “jury trial” and will have the right to call upon survivors and experts on Genocide as witnesses to prove that systematic killing of Sikhs in November 1984 was Genocide as defined Article 2 of the UN Convention on Genocide.

    http://www.facebook.com/#!/notes/si...-nath-in-1984-sikh-genocide-case/491223996355
     
  10. spnadmin

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    INDIAN DEMOCRACY EXPOSED BY FORMALLY REQUESTING “DIPLOMATIC IMMUNITY” FOR MINISTER KAMAL NATH IN SIKH GENOCIDE TRIAL
    by Sikhs Justice on Monday, January 24, 2011 at 3:22pm

    Human Rights Group announces to take the matter to the United Nations



    New York (January 24, 2011)

    Indian Government is exposed with regard to human rights issue by its efforts to get diplomatic immunity from U.S. for Minister Kamal Nath in Sikh Genocide Case pending against him in the US Court. Sikhs and human rights activists have always alleged that Indian Government and Congress (I) have been protecting and shielding the killers of Sikhs and organizers of November 1984 Sikh Genocide. During the past 26 years, Congress (I) has used its influence in saving Kamal Nath and other leaders of Congress (I) from being charged and prosecuted in India despite of witnesses and evidence. Even Nanavati Commission was pressured into stating that evidence against Nath is “vague” even though that Nath himself admitted being at the scene of Gurdawara Rakab Ganj and many individuals gave affidavits about Nath’s presence and involvement in violence at Gurdawara Rakab Ganj.



    According to Attorney Gurpatwant Singh Pannun, legal advisor to Sikhs for Justice (SFJ), the issue of “diplomatic immunity” is decided by the court and US Department of State can only give its recommendation. He further stated that the plaintiffs will resist and challenge any efforts by Indian Government to get diplomatic immunity for Kamal Nath. If diplomatic immunity is granted to Kamal Nath in Sikh Genocide case, plaintiffs avowed that they will challenge it in the highest court of the United States and will also lodge petitions and complaints before the United Nations Human Rights Commission with regard to India’s open practice of impunity.



    According to attorney Pannun, India is not a “democracy” but a “demon-cracy” because it protects the human rights violators and rewards them with Cabinet seats. The attitude of Congress (I) and Indian Government on the issue of “diplomatic immunity” is not shocking at all and it only proves what Congress (I) and Indian Government has been doing during past 26 years. Indian Government has not only protected the killers of Sikhs inside India but now the Indian Government is going all out to protect the killers and human rights abusers in other countries. Indian Government is paying for the defense of Kamal Nath in Genocide Trial and has asked the US Government to grant Mr. Nath immunity, added attorney Pannun.



    In April 2010, Sikhs for Justice (SFJ) a US based human rights advocacy group, along with two individuals filed a law suit against Minister Kamal Nath in US District Court under Alien Tort Claims Act(ATCA) & Torture Victim Protection Act (TVPA) asking the Court to order compensatory and punitive damages against Kamal Nath. According to attorney Pannun “Alien Tort Claims Act of United State, the law under which trial against Kamal Nath will be held is specifically created to provide remedy and forum to victims of genocide to vindicate their complaints and the trial against Kamal Nath is one such opportunity through which SFJ plans to put on the record of the court evidence related to Genocide of Sikhs and Kamal Nath’s role in it”.



    Plaintiffs have asked for a “jury trial” and will have the right to call upon survivors and experts on Genocide as witnesses to prove that systematic killing of Sikhs in November 1984 was Genocide as defined Article 2 of the UN Convention on Genocide.

    http://www.facebook.com/?sk=message...diplomatic-immunity-for-minister/491335006355
     
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  11. spnadmin

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    worth reposting this part, because the issue of diplomatic immunity has become more cloudy as this story unfolds. At first it was reported in the American press that there would be NO immunity. Next it was reported in the Indian Press that the US State department was looking into the question of diplomatic immunity. I asked Sikhs for Justice by email to clarify this point as Councilor Pannu was reported time and again to say there would be no diplomatic immunity in a civil case involving atrocities. This paragraph from the above press release is the clearest statement of what can be expected to happen.




    So this chapter is not over yet. The US State Department has no authority, because of the separation of powers in the US constitution. It can however recommend diplomatic immunity in this instance. The judge has already ruled that Nath can be arrested. If the judge in this case switches gears and goes against what has been the historic precedent, Sikhs for Justice will go to the US Supreme Court. If the judge refuses to grant diplomatic immunity, Kamal Nath can also appeal to a higher court. On a less optimistic note any plea to the UN imho will fall on deaf ears. Neither India nor the US have permitted UN monitoring when human rights complaints have been lodged.

    My prediction is that the State Department will fall back on a tried and true posture, saying that the government has no desire to interfere in the internal politics of another sovereign state (India) and will make a public show of diplomatic "neutrality." The decision will fall to the judge alone. To date the judge has taken stern measures. Worth watching this part of the drama unfold.
     
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  12. spnadmin

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    Request for Kamal Nath immunity “under review”
    Narayan Lakshman
    January 26

    http://www.thehindu.com/news/international/article1125390.ece


    A State Department spokesman has said that the question of granting diplomatic immunity to Indian Urban Development Minister Kamal Nath, in a case that had been filed against him in the United States, was “under review.”

    In response to a question from The Hindu, Assistant Secretary of State P.J. Cowley said, “We are following closely a civil complaint involving Minister Kamal Nath. This is still a legal process that is unfolding.”

    Mr. Nath faces the possibility of prosecution under a case filed against him in April 2010 by, alleging that he was involved in the anti-Sikh riots of 1984.

    Mr. Crowley added that it was unclear as to whether there was any “live action against Minister Nath” and what its content might be, pointing out that the plaintiffs, an NGO called Sikhs for Justice, had until February 9 to file an amended complaint.

    Mr. Crowley’s comment that the State Department “had not made any determination at this point,” came even as Virander Paul, Minister for Press at the Indian embassy in Washington, confirmed to The Hindu that India had taken up the question of diplomatic immunity Mr. Nath, with the State Department.

    “The State Department is examining it,” Mr. Paul said, adding that the embassy had not yet received an answer on its query.
     
  13. Mai Harinder Kaur

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    Today is the day he is supposed to show up in court. What is going on? Did he show? What is going on?:angryyoungkaur:
     
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  14. spnadmin

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    Do not know. I did check earlier in the day. Nothing on the SFJ web site, nor in breaking news. Will keep checking.
     
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  15. Mai Harinder Kaur

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    As will I! :angryyoungkaur:
     
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